There was an interesting exchange of views at a conference organised by the business weekly, El Economico, which appears with our sister newspaper Ultima Hora. The conference underlined the need for dialogue at all levels of business.
One of the speakers was Gabriel Escarrer, Chief Executive of the Melia Hotel Group. He said that Spain needed more flexible labour rules so that the tourist industry could recruit people when they were most needed.
He pointed to a recent event at the convention cente in Palma. Ten days before the convention there were only a small number of delegates but a week later it was fully booked. He explained that companies needed to be able to recruit staff quickly to cope with the “last-minute” market.
Pepe Alvarez, General Secretary of the UGT trade union said that there was a big problem with low wages across the country. He stated that even people who were in employment were “living under a bridge” because they didn´t have enough money to pay a rent.
Spanish government Vice President, Yolanda Diaz, said that there was a need for business and unions to work together for the benefit of all while the President of the Spanish Small business association, Gerardo Cuerva, said that thousands of small business across the country had been lost as a result of the pandemic.
As regards to the issue of dialogue he said that business owners were always open to talk. He pointed out that dialogue was key in any business. Overall, it was an interesting debate and basically the conclusion was that labour laws have to change so that businesses can prosper.